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Piece of a Comet Found Tucked Inside Meteorite



The cometary fragment
Image: Larry Nittler / NASA

Scientists have found a cometary building block in an unexpected place: deep inside a meteorite, according to a new paper.

The researchers reported finding a 0.1

millimeter, carbon-rich rock fragment inside of a meteorite. When the planets were still forming, and later brought to the earth.

The fragment "may be represented in meteorite collections because they are too fragile to survive atmospheric entry, "

A meteorite is a rock from space that's already landed on the surface of Earth. The system in which it is used in the solar system has not been formulated in a solar system a coma) and a tail under the influence of the Sun. These are clunky terms, but they are becoming more and more popular in the Solar System.

The researchers analyzed a meteorite from Antarctica called LAP 02342, which is interesting because it has been minimally weathered or eroded during its time on Earth. They analyzed it with an electron microscope, revealing the tiny carbon-rich section that differed from the rest of the otherwise typical meteorite.

Humans would not be able to watch this meteorite form, so we can not determine exact origin of the fragment. But the researchers have some ideas; maybe it was the earliest stage of a comet, forming the material in the outermost region of the solar system, the icy Kuiper Belt. But the Comet's Formation Somehow stopped, and this piece was snatched up by asteroid, which moved inward towards the Sun and eventually struck the Earth.

Hopefully scientists will soon find out more. According to the paper, dedicated searchers for these carbon-rich pieces in ancient meteorites "may prove valuable for expanding our understanding of the full range of primitive astromaterials in the early solar system."


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